The World’s Worst Prostitute


By Simon Doonan

Simon Doonan explains why hooking ain’t easy.

The good news: He seems willing to play the role of john. I’ll make some money. It’s just a question of how much. The bad news: He’s an enthusiastic negotiator, adamant that whatever he ends up paying for “my services,” it would be subject to the deduction of his fare. He is, he maintains, a businessman, “just like yourself,” who desires to be compensated for his services.

More numbers are ping-ponged back and forth. More snuggling and rolling about. Some laughter. More haggling. Though not unpleasant, the whole experience was a bit like having a threeway with a calculator.

Much of the rest of the evening was a total blur. I do, however, remember one thing. The money. That measly fee.

Even back in the economically depressed early ’70s it seemed like a paltry amount. What was the un-princely sum that I finally extorted out of my customer over a cup of tea the next morning?

Three putrid quid.

OK, so I’m not Paul Newman, but I’m not Marty Feldman either, God rest his soul. Three quid. I had spent more than that buying Vinnie cheap cider!
There is something really gruesome about three pounds. Even now it makes me wince. Two might almost have been better. I distinctly remember lobbying for five pounds, having come down from 50, but every time he brought up that niggling outstanding cab fare—snog, grope, snog, grope—I could feel any advantage slipping through my fingers. So three quid it was.

In the cold light of the next day, I realized that I just might just be the world’s worst prostitute. I was tragic. No self-respecting pimp would ever have tolerated my bungling efforts. I was a shameful embarrassment to the world’s oldest profession and all who sail in her.

This passage was excerpted from Doonan’s new book, Gay Men Don’t Get Fat (Blue Rider Press, $23.95), which is out now.